Travel documents for foreign citizens returning to the U.S.
If you are a citizen of another country and have been living in the U.S., you may need special documents if you leave the U.S. and then return.
Travel documents for permanent and conditional permanent residents
If you are outside the U.S. for less than one year
If you are a permanent or conditional permanent resident who has been away from the U.S. for less than one year, you will only need to show your Green Card upon re-entry to the U.S.
If you are outside the U.S. for one year or longer
If you are a permanent or conditional permanent resident who has been outside the U.S. for one year or longer, apply for a re-entry permit before you travel. Use Form I-131 - Application for Travel Document.
- For permanent residents, the re-entry permit is valid for two years from the date of issue.
- For conditional permanent residents, the re-entry permit is valid for two years after the date of issue. Or it is valid up until the date you must apply for removal of the conditions on your status, whichever date comes first.
Travel documents for other foreign citizens living in the U.S.
If you are a foreign citizen re-entering the U.S., the documentation you need may depend on your immigration status:
- Advance parole - You may use advance parole to re-enter the U.S. without applying for a visa. It is commonly used for re-entry by people in the process of applying for permanent residence, applying for a status adjustment, or applying for asylum.
- Refugee travel document - You may be able to use this document to re-enter the U.S. if you have refugee or asylum status.
If you need help, contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023